July 17, 2020

“Created from one essence, people are members of a single body,
Should one member suffer pain, the rest shall, too. 
You who feel no sorrow for the distress of others, cannot be called a human being.”
– Sa’di
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On behalf of myself and Shabahang’s Board of Trustees, we hope this note finds you and your loved ones well and safe, in such trying and unprecedented times.
2020 has brought so many challenges to our lives as Iranian-Americans. In spite of the interruption caused by the coronavirus in Shabahang’s 30 years of continuous cultural and educational gatherings, I am pleased to announce that we’re getting ready to resume our new academic year (2020-2021) energized with a different format.
Since COVID-19 is here to stay for a while, we have decided to conduct our new year’s programs and events online via Zoom video conferencing. We are also planning a special program, celebrating Shabahang’s 30th Anniversary. We will keep you posted as the details are developed.
We are delighted to announce the list of recipients of this year’s 8th annual student scholarships. You can find the list of these brilliant recipients on our website.
In addition I am proud to inform you that Shabahang was able to financially assist 11 Iranian students living in Philadelphia area who were affected by COVID-19, with a total contributions of $5,500, offered by the Iranian community.  Since we needed to get the assistance in the hands of those individuals who needed it immediately, we had to act fast and hence were only able to receive funds from a small number of our generous members who donated to that cause. We greatly appreciate continuous generosity of our Iranian-American community and members. You can always make a donation on our website at: www.shabahang.org
Since our monthly events came to a stop as a result of COVID-19, I am also happy to announce that we have decided to waive membership fees for all of our active members who already paid their dues for 2019-2020. Their membership will be extended for another year into the 2020-2021 academic year. Although we are still incurring some costs for inviting speakers and conducting online programs, as well as paying for few other ongoing expenses, nonetheless our expenditures have been reduced to some extent.  Having said that, we would love to encourage new members to join Shabahang’s community, and always welcome those who would like to make donations for running our events, or towards the scholarship fund and student assistance programs.
Lastly, Shabahang is in serious need of attracting new members to become a part of our 2020-2021 Board of Trustees. Due to the current pandemic and the fact that our programs will be conducted online until further notice, there has been a shift in our tasks, and several board members (who were part of hospitality and event planning) are resigning in order to make room for passionate, knowledgeable and tech savvy individuals to join our board. Within the next few days, we will post a separate announcement on our website in order to invite such talented and caring individuals who can make a difference by their participation in managing the ongoing activities of Shabahang. Keep in mind that one of the ways in which we show our love for Iran and the Persian culture is by helping organizations like Shabahang to continue to function and keep the flame of our ancient and beautiful culture burning bright.  Please reach out to us right away  if you are interested in joining our team.
We look forward to hearing from all of you. As always thank you for your generosity, support and giving back to our community.
Sarah Siah, President of Shabahang and Board of Trustees